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Sleep problems are one of the most common concerns facing parents of young children, and one of the most common behavioural conditions brought to the attention of paediatricians.

In 2015, the National Sleep Foundation reported that 25 percent of infants, toddlers and preschoolers are sleepy during the day, and 30 percent of school-aged kids have trouble getting up in the morning.

The reason is clear: today’s kids aren’t getting enough, quality sleep.

Doctors recommend that children ages 3 to 5 should sleep 10 to 13 hours per day, while those aged 6 to 12 should sleep 9 to 12 hours per day.

Sleep is a vital component of healthy growth, both physically and emotionally. It allows our bodies to recover physically by repairing tissue, boosting muscle mass, synthesising proteins, releasing growth hormones and maintaining a strong immune system, but it also helps regulate emotions, release stress and even consolidate memories, helping children learn and retain.

Insufficient sleep, by contrast, negatively affects physical growth and development, as well as emotional stability, stress regulation and concentration.

Research has proven time and again that establishing and maintaining a structured and predictable bedtime routine helps prevent children from falling on the wrong side of these statistics. The nightly rituals help calm our children down after a busy day, easing anxiety and creating a calm zone that encourages sleep.

This Winter, Barbie is proud to be part of the sleep solution with the brand new Barbie Sleepwear Collection, which injects a little fashion fun into the bedtime routine, with some pink-tastic Barbie bedtime accessories.

Start the bedtime routine with a deliciously warm bath, filled to the brim with Barbie bubbles. Just add a tiny amount for a luxurious moisturising soak. When the girls clamber out, make sure to pamper their skin with Barbie body lotion, and brush out their beautiful hair with a Barbie brush. Starting price just R60, from Ackermans.

Don’t forget to put out the super-soft, non-slip memory-foam Barbie bathmat to catch the spillover and prevent any slippery accidents. R100 from Makro.

Because Winter is on its way, dress your little girls up warm in a long-sleeved Barbie pyjama set (R179.95 from Edgars), then make them super snug by wrapping them up in  a fleece gown (R199.99, also from Edgars) and a pair of cosy slippers (just R90 from PNP Clothing).

Tuck them into their Barbie bed linen, which reminds them to always Dream Big, available in single and three-quarter from Mr Price Home, then snuggle in close and help them read one of their favourite Barbie bedtime stories, just R35 each from CNA, PNA, Bargain Books, Hamleys and Readers Warehouse. 

If you’re taking them out on the town, bring a little comfort from home with the Barbie Coral Fleece Blanket, measuring 145cm x 115cm, it’s perfect for the car, the tv room, or even a sleepover. Add to the sense of home comfort by bringing along a favourite heart-shaped Barbie pillow. R199.99 for the blanket, and R129.99 for the pillow, both Mr Price Home. 

Before they doze off to dreamland, don’t forget to brush their teeth, with a Barbie toothbrush and tasty toothpaste, both available from a range of stores including Dischem, Clicks, Pick n Pay, Spar, Checkers, Shoprite and Makro.

Last, but not least, kiss them quick, before they grow up! These little girls won’t be little for long, let them love Barbie pink while they still can…

And remember, if your kids sleep better, you sleep better too. And happy moms make happy kids….#BarbieInsider #DreamBigWithBarbie

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